Editor's Picks

Issue 272:
– 529 & ABLE News & Research
– Research: 529 Distribution Analysis 2021 Report Released
– 529 Conference 2022: Save the Date

529 Dash, Required Reading for Your 529 Education:
 The goal of the 529 Dash is to help institutions and financial professionals who help families and employers in the education financial planning process by creating and sharing industry relevant news, product training, and best practices, while also building awareness and understanding of the importance of 529 plans and ABLE accounts.

Please Read, Engage and Share.

Paul Curley, CFA
Director of 529 & ABLE Research
ISS Market Intelligence
Twitter: @PaulCurleyBC

529 & ABLE News & Research

Here is what you need to know from stories, research and data released this week:

  • AKF Consulting, “This season, remind families of the gift that lasts.” Editor’s Take: Thank you Andrea Feirstein for creating and sharing this timely article on the leadership of state agencies and year-end gifting as we close out 2021. Read, learn and share. Happy Holidays.
  • 529 Insiders, “Status Board: SECURE Act 529 State Updates.” Editor’s Take: On December 15th, Colorado was updated on the status board from “Not allow student loans & not allow apprenticeships withdrawals state tax free” to “Not allow student loans & allow apprenticeships state tax free” per a press release by CollegeInvest. On December 13, 2021, West Virginia was updated on the status board from “Allow Student Loans & Currently Not Allow Apprenticeship Withdrawals” to “Allow Student Loans & Allow Apprenticeship Withdrawals State Tax Free” per plan disclosure language update. Click the link to view the updated status board.
  • 529 Insiders, “3Q 2021 529 and ABLE Market Sizing Highlights.” Editor’s Take: What was the 529 and ABLE market sizing as of September 30, 2021? Click the link to learn more.
  • ABLE Age Adjustment Act Status Board: The bill would increase the age of onset for eligibility to open an ABLE account from 26 years old to 46 years old. As of December 14, 2021, the bill sponsorship was as follows:
    • Senate (S331): 1 sponsor and 12 cosponsors
    • Congress Sponsorship (HR1219): 1 sponsor and 72 cosponsors
Research: 529 Distribution Analysis 2021 Report Released

Newly released in December 2021, this annual study provides actionable guidance on how to increase the use of 529 plan products and education financial planning in the adviser-sold, employer-sold and direct-sold channels. This report sheds light on education savings distribution by incorporating data from a new and deeper proprietary survey of financial advisers fielded in October, 2021. The report also draws on insights from interviews with advisers, financial professionals, and broker-dealer home-office product executives who support and lead fleets of financial advisers.

This year’s study offers a deeper analysis by comparing 2021 results to prior proprietary ISS Market Intelligence adviser surveys fielded in 2009 and in the years between 2011 and 2020. The longer survey period allows us to analyze whether advisers are getting the message and to better determine what advisers require from legislative, product, and marketing and distribution perspectives in order to increase 529 plan usage. Additionally, the proprietary survey analyzes new industry trends, such as the impact of COVID-19, Regulation Best Interest, the CARES Act, the SECURE Act, the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, ESG investment options, and potential legislation in the pipeline, while expanding the analysis of longer-term opportunities, such as the employer channel, fee-based advisory, and investment lineup enhancements in demand. Based on information collected from advisers, families and institutions, the last chapter examines the key components of a strategic distribution roadmap to better initiate and re-engage current distribution channels and to expand into new ones.

If you are interested in learning more and subscribing to the report, please click the link and fill out the request more information form.

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Events: 529 Conference 2022 - Save the Date

Save the Date: 529 Conference 2022 will be held from September 12-14, 2022, at the Ritz-Carlton Orlando, Grande Lakes.


  • 529 Conference: A highly interactive and educational industry gathering with the entire education financial planning ecosystem.
  • 529 Essentials: A session to train professionals on 529 plans and education financial planning in a constantly evolving market.
  • ABLE Summit: A session to deliver training, insight and networking opportunities to support the successful implementation and growth of ABLE accounts.
December 20th, 2021
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